Saturday, August 20, 2016

Donald Trump’s Lincolnesque Moment - David Horowitz

by David Horowitz

A landmark in the emergence of a new Republican Party.

Today in Dimondale Michigan Donald Trump gave what was not only the best speech of his campaign but a speech that will one day be seen as a landmark in the emergence of a new Republican Party – a party finally returning to its roots as the party of Lincoln. If this sounds like hyperbole ask yourself what other Republican leader in recent memory has addressed America’s African American communities in this voice:
The African-American community has given so much to this country.  They’ve fought and died in every war since the Revolution.  They’ve lifted up the conscience of our nation in the long march for Civil Rights.  They’ve sacrificed so much for the national good.  Yet, nearly 4 in 10 African-American children still live in poverty, and 58% of young African-Americans are not working. We must do better as a country.  I refuse to believe that the future must be like the past.
Trump’s Dimondale speech was a pledge to African Americans trapped in the blighted zones and killing fields of inner cities exclusively ruled by Democrats for half a century and more, and exploited by their political leaders for votes, and also used as fodder for slanders directed at their Republican opponents. This was his appeal:
Tonight, I am asking for the vote of every African-American citizen in this country who wants a better future. The inner cities of our country have been run by the Democratic Party for 50 years.  Their policies have produced only poverty, joblessness, failing schools, and broken homes. It is time to hold Democratic Politicians accountable for what they have done to these communities.  It is time to hold failed leaders accountable for their results, not just their empty words.
Time to hold the Democrats responsible for what they have done. For twenty years I and many others on the right have waited for Republican leaders to do just this. Until now we have despaired of seeing this happen in our lifetimes. But here is Trump articulating the very message we have been waiting for - support for America’s inner city poor – a message that should have been front and center of every Republican campaign for the last fifty years.

Trump: “Look at what the Democratic Party has done to the city of Detroit. Forty percent of Detroit’s residents live in poverty.  Half of all Detroit residents do not work. Detroit tops the list of Most Dangerous Cities in terms of violent crime. This is the legacy of the Democrat politicians who have run this city.  This is the result of the policy agenda embraced by Hillary Clinton…. The one thing every item in Hillary Clinton’s agenda has in common is that it takes jobs and opportunities from African-American workers.  Her support for open borders.  Her fierce opposition to school choice.  Her plan to massively raise taxes on small businesses.  Her opposition to American energy.  And her record of giving our jobs away to other countries.”

Tying the fight to liberate African Americans and other minorities from the violent urban wastelands in which Democrats have trapped them to his other proposals– secure borders, law and order to make urban environments safe, jobs for American workers, putting Americans first – these are a sure sign that Trump has an integrated vision of the future towards which he is working. Call it populism if you will. To me it seems like a clear-eyed conservative plan to restore American values and even to unify America’s deeply fractured electorate.

I love this line: “America must reject the bigotry of Hillary Clinton who sees communities of color only as votes, not as human beings worthy of a better future.” Yes African Americans and other Americans too are suffocating under the racism of the Democratic Party which takes African Americans for granted and lets the communities of the most vulnerable sink ever deeper into a maelstrom of poverty and violence without end.

Trump being Trump offers this constituency that has turned its back on Republicans for half a century this deal maker: “Look at how much African-American communities have suffered under Democratic Control. To those hurting, I say: what do you have to lose by trying something new?’

In the boldest imaginable way, Donald Trump is doing what Republicans have been talking about doing for a generation but have failed miserably to achieve – creating a “big tent” and opening up the party to new constituencies, in particular to minority constituencies. The fact that at the moment he is nonetheless distrusted by minorities is partly the result of his flamboyant carelessness with language during his extemporaneous riffs, but mainly because of the vicious distortions of his words and character his unscruplous Democratic enemies and their media whores. These progressives pretend to care about African Americans but are content to let generations of inner city minorities and their children live blighted lives so long as they can be bussed to the polls every November and cast the votes that keep them in power.

Not to forget the #NeverTrumpers on the Republican side. These defectors are among the loudest slanderers, smearing Trump as a racist and a bigot when he is obviously the very opposite of that. In fact, when you look at what Trump is actually saying and actually doing, Never Trumpism appears as the newest racism of low expectations. To turn their backs on Trump conservatives must write off the inner cities and their suffering populations, regarding them as irredeemable, and unpersuadable, while leaveing them to their fate. Fortunately there is a large constituency in the Republican Party that resonates to Trump’s message of a new Republican Party and a new hope for all Americans - white and non-white – who have been left behind.

David Horowitz was one of the founders of the New Left in the 1960s and an editor of its largest magazine, Ramparts. He is the author, with Peter Collier, of three best selling dynastic biographies: The Rockefellers: An American Dynasty (1976); The Kennedys: An American Dream (1984); and The Fords: An American Epic (1987). Looking back in anger at their days in the New Left, he and Collier wrote Destructive Generation (1989), a chronicle of their second thoughts about the 60s that has been compared to Whittaker Chambers’ Witness and other classic works documenting a break from totalitarianism. Horowitz examined this subject more closely in Radical Son (1996), a memoir tracing his odyssey from “red-diaper baby” to conservative activist that George Gilder described as “the first great autobiography of his generation.”


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The Temple Mount and UNESCO - Denis MacEoin

by Denis MacEoin

The attempts to deny any ancient and ongoing Jewish presence in Jerusalem, to say there was never a first let alone a second Temple and that only Muslims have any right to the whole city, its shrines and historical monuments, have reached insane proportions.

  • Is this really what it boils down to? The Islamic State rules the international community? Including UNESCO?
  • The world is outraged when it sees the stones of Palmyra tumble, or other great monuments of human civilization turn to dust. But that same world is silent when the Palestinian Arabs and their supporters Islamise everything by calling into question the very presence of the Jewish people in the Holy Land.

UNESCO, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, is known throughout the world for the many places it designates as World Heritage Sites. There are more than one thousand of these, distributed unequally in many countries, with Italy at the top, followed by China.

The largest single category of sites consists of religious sites, categorized under the heading of cultural locations (as distinct from natural ones). Within this category, UNESCO has carried out many dialogues with communities in order to ensure that religious sensitivities are acknowledged and guaranteed. UNESCO has undertaken many measures in this field.

In 2010, the organization held a seminar on the "Role of Religious Communities in the Management of World Heritage Properties."
"The main objective of the [seminar] was to explore ways of establishing a dialogue between all stakeholders, and to explore possible ways of encouraging and generating mutual understanding and collaboration amongst them in the protection of religious World Heritage properties."
The notion of dialogue in this context was clearly meant to avoid unilateral decisions by one nation or community to claim exclusive ownership of a religious site.

Alleged or actual claims to multiple ownership of religious sites are not uncommon. A collection of essays entitled, Choreographies of Shared Sacred Sites: Religion, Politics, and Conflict Resolution, examines such disputes over shared religious sites in Turkey, the Balkans, Palestine/Israel, Cyprus, and Algeria, providing powerful analyses of how communities come to blows or work reconcile themselves in a willingness to share shrines and other centres. Sometimes people come to blows over these sites, and sometimes one religion can cause immense pain to the followers of another, as happened in 1988 when Carmelite nuns erected a 26-foot-high cross outside Auschwitz II (Birkenau) extermination camp in order to commemorate a papal mass held there in 1979.

A more famous example of an unreconciled dispute is the conflict over the Babri Masjid in Ayodhya, India, a mosque originally built in 1528-29 on the orders of Babur, the first of the Mughal emperors. According to Hindu accounts, the Mughal builders destroyed a temple on the birthplace of the deity Rama in order to build the mosque -- a claim denied by many Muslims.[1] The importance of the site is clear from a Hindu text which declares that Ayodhya is one of seven sacred places where a final release from the cycle of death and rebirth may be obtained.

These conflicting claims were fatefully resolved when an extremist Hindu mob demolished the mosque in 1992, planning to build a new temple on the site. The demolition has been cited as justification for terrorist attacks by radical Muslim groups.[2] The massacres at Wandhama (1998) and the Amarnath pilgrimage (2000) are both attributed to the demolition. Communal riots occurred in New Delhi, Bombay and elsewhere, as well as many cases of stabbing, arson, and attacks on private homes and government officers.[3]

Muslim invaders did indeed destroy or modify thousands of "idolatrous" temples and sacred sites in India, just as they did elsewhere on a lesser scale, and just as the Islamic State has been doing for several years in modern Iraq and Syria. This is not simply the sort of destruction normally associated with wars, invasions, or civil disputes. For Muslims, it has a theological basis. Islam, as it has existed since the death of the prophet Muhammad in 632, is predicated on three things: the belief that there is one God without partners or associates; the belief that Muhammad is the messenger of that one God; and the belief that Islam is the greatest and last religion revealed to mankind, authorized by God to destroy all other religions and their artefacts:
"He (God) has sent his prophet with guidance and the religion of the truth in order to make it prevail over all religion" (Qur'an 9:33; 61:9).
It is this last belief that has, for over 1400 years, instilled a deep sense of supremacism within the Muslim world.

As many Muslims believe that Islam is the final revelation and Muhammad is the last prophet, so they believe that they cannot possibly live on equal terms with the followers of any other faith. Jews and Christians may live in an Islamic state, but only if they submit to deep humiliation and abasement and in return for the payment of protection money (the jizya tax). Churches and synagogues may not be repaired or, should they collapse, be rebuilt. Islam trumps everything.

This last doctrine is used repeatedly in the works of modern Salafi ideologues such as the Pakistani Abu'l-A'la Mawdudi and the Egyptian Sayyid Qutb. Here is a fairly typical statement by Qutb, from his best-known publication, Ma'alim fi'l-tariq, ("Milestones"):
"Islam, then, is the only Divine way of life which brings out the noblest human characteristics, developing and using them for the construction of human society. Islam has remained unique in this respect to this day. Those who deviate from this system and want some other system, whether it be based on nationalism, color and race, class struggle, or similar corrupt theories, are truly enemies of mankind!"[4]
Here is a recent comment by a modern Salafi writer:
"this worldwide domination of Islam which has been promised by Allah does not necessarily mean that every single person on earth will become Muslim. When we say that Islam will dominate the world, we mean as a political system, as the messenger Muhammad prophesied that the authority on earth will belong to the Muslims, i.e. the believers will be in power and the Sharee'ah [Shari'a] of Islam will be implemented in every corner of the earth".
Under Islamic jihad law, any territory once captured for Islam must remain an integral and inviolable possession of the Muslim authorities.[5] In other words, even entire countries like Spain, Portugal, India, Greece or the Balkan nations that had been colonies under Ottoman rule, should be reclaimed for Islam, either by re-conquest or through the current "cultural jihad."

It is through mass immigration, separatism, gradual introduction of Islamic law, and ghettoization that many countries in Europe have grown to be victims of a more determined Islam. But one territory remains under the threat of a violent takeover: the state of Israel.

Although there are revanchist and irredentist movements in many countries, Muslim effort to re-possess Israel has served to spark off and maintain the longest-lasting and most intractable physical conflict in modern history. Demands and counter-demands, attacks and counter attacks, wars and defensive responses taking place in Israel are in the media every single day.

The dispute is not primarily political. After the First World War, a system of international law was created, and that mutually agreed system was expanded after World War II to all countries joining the United Nations. Israel was created, not to displace the Arab inhabitants of what the British named Palestine, but to provide a homeland for the Jews alongside an Arab state. But all the Arab countries turned down this proposal. The Palestinians today still refuse to accept a state of their own, even while clamouring loudly for one.

Their deepest motive lies in a religiously-determined rejection of the nation state,[6] combined with the conviction that the Holy Land is an Islamic territory that cannot ever be awarded to the Jews.

That denial of international law and ethics allows many Muslims to claim the city of Jerusalem as an Islamic city, a city that can never be treated as the capital of a Jewish state, a holy place that has meaning for Muslims and Muslims alone.

You do not have to be a historian to know that Jerusalem was originally a Jewish city with, later, Christian connections and, later still, weak Islamic connections. More than that, it is the holiest city in the world for Jews, and it contains the most sacred site in the Jewish religion, the Temple Mount -- the area on which not one but two Jewish temples were built.

There, Jews worshipped until the temples were destroyed, first by the Babylonian monarch Nebuchadnezzar (in 586 BCE), and again by the Romans in 70 CE. Jews have always turned toward the Temple Mount in their prayers.

Muslims, too, faced the Temple Mount when they prayed for several years while Muhammad and his small band of followers lived in Mecca. They continued to do so for many months after they emigrated to the oasis town of Yathrib (now Medina) in 622. They originally prayed facing Jerusalem because Muhammad was at first a great admirer of the Jews, from whom he learnt most of what he knew. But in Medina, he found he did not get on so well with the Jews of the city, who refused to convert to his new religion.

So, sixteen or seventeen months after the emigration, a revelation came to Muhammad that the Believers had to turn round about 180 degrees to face the city from which most of them had come, Mecca. In mid-prayer, the entire congregation turned their backs on Jerusalem. The holy city of the Jews was no longer of the least interest to them.[7]

The Qur'an could not be more explicit in this matter. Muhammad does not follow the direction of prayer used by the Jews. The Ka'ba in Mecca has erased all thought of Jerusalem and the Temple Mount. At that point in time, there was not a single rock or stone or tree or building in Jerusalem that was Islamic in any way.

But for today's Muslims, the opposite is true. There is nothing in Jerusalem that belongs to the Jews, and every part of it -- especially the Temple Mount and the Western Wall -- is and always has been Islamic. It is seen as the one of the holiest cities for Muslims, after Mecca and Medina.

The Muslim claim to Jerusalem is tenuous to say the least. One Qur'anic verse (17:1) talks of a night journey made by Muhammad from the Sacred Mosque (in Mecca) to the Farthest Mosque (al-masjid al-aqsa). Later commentators identify this Farthest Mosque with Jerusalem. But there were no mosques and no Muslims in Jerusalem at this time -- in fact, not that many even in Arabia. The current Aqsa Mosque on the Temple Mount was first built in the year 705, seventy-three years after Muhammad's death in 632, and rebuilt several times after earthquakes. By the 20th century, it was severely neglected. A film of the mosque in 1954 shows serious deterioration. It was clearly neither cared for nor much valued by the Muslim community.

You do not have to be a historian to know that Jerusalem was originally a Jewish city with, later, Christian connections and, later still, weak Islamic connections. The second Jewish Temple, completed by King Herod in 19 BCE, was destroyed by the Romans in 70 CE (depicted at left in a 1626 painting by Nicolas Poussin). The current Aqsa Mosque (right) on the Temple Mount was first built in the year 705, seventy-three years after Muhammad's death in 632, and rebuilt several times after earthquakes. (Images' source: Wikimedia Commons)

And there is more. For centuries, Muslim writers (not to mention Jewish and Christian historians and archaeologists) agreed that the Kotel, the Western or "Wailing" Wall, was the remaining section of the second Jewish Temple, the temple built by Herod and visited by Jesus. As far back as 1924, the Supreme Muslim Council in the British Palestine Mandate published a pamphlet entitled, A Brief Guide to al-Haram al-Sharif – Temple Mount Guide. This document confirmed the Jewishness of the site: on the fourth page, the historical sketch of the Mount declares:
"The site is one of the oldest in the world. Its sanctity dates from the earliest times. Its identity with the site of Solomon's Temple is beyond dispute. This, too, is the spot, according to universal belief, on which David built there an altar unto the Lord, and offered burnt offerings and peace offerings (2 Samuel 24:25)"
According to the Jewish Virtual Library:
Early Muslims regarded the building and destruction of the Temple of Solomon as a major historical and religious event, and accounts of the Temple are offered by many of the early Muslim historians and geographers (including Ibn Qutayba, Ibn al-Faqih, Mas'udi, Muhallabi, and Biruni). Fantastic tales of Solomon's construction of the Temple also appear in the Qisas al-anbiya' [Tales of the Prophets], the medieval compendia [sic] of Muslim legends about the pre-Islamic prophets. As the historian Rashid Khalidi wrote in 1998 (albeit in a footnote), while there is no "scientific evidence" that Solomon's Temple existed, "all believers in any of the Abrahamic faiths perforce must accept that it did."
For some time now, however, Muslim individuals and institutions have started to claim that the Mount has nothing to do with a Jewish Temple, that no such temple ever existed, and that the Western Wall is in fact the wall at which Muhammad tethered his fabled winged-horse, Buraq. For example, with enormous effrontery, Sheikh Tayseer Rajab Tamimi, the leading religious figure in the Palestinian Authority, stated in 2009: "Jerusalem is an Arab and Islamic city and it always has been so." Tamimi claimed that all excavation work conducted by Israel after 1967 had "failed to prove that Jews had a history or presence in Jerusalem or that their ostensible temple had ever existed." He condemned Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and "all Jewish rabbis and extremist organizations" as liars, because of their assertion that Jerusalem was a Jewish city. Tamimi accused Israel of distorting the facts and forging history "with the aim of erasing the Arab and Islamic character of Jerusalem."

There is no reason why Muslims should not venerate the spot, whether from afar or while living in Jerusalem itself. In that way, the Temple Mount would be another religious site with connections to more than one religion -- in this case to Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. Unfortunately, that sense of dominance over all other religions, as described above, means that Muslims are having none of that.

For them the Temple Mount and its surroundings are Muslim and nothing else. In the modern period, this is an offshoot of the wider view that all Israel is Islamic territory.

The Islamic concept of supremacy has overtaken UNESCO in direct contradiction to its acceptance of multi-religious sites.

In October 2015, six Arab states, on behalf of the Palestinian Authority (PA) and others, proposed to UNESCO that it should change its designation of the site, turning it from a Jewish holy place to a Muslim one, as part of the al-Aqsa Mosque. A vote was set for October 20, but was postponed following an indignant protest by UNESCO's head, Irina Bokova, who said she "deplored" the proposal.

But that vote may still go through in favour of the PA and its supporters. One day later, it was announced that UNESCO had voted to designate two other important Jewish holy sites as Muslim -- the "Cave of the Patriarchs" in Hebron, and the Tomb of Rachel near Bethlehem.

The "Cave of the Patriarchs" is where tradition says the bodies of Abraham and Sarah, Isaac and Rebecca, and Jacob and Leah are buried. It is the most ancient of Jewish holy places, second in importance only to the Mount on which the two temples were built. It will now be known as al-Haram al-Ibrahimi, the Sanctuary of Abraham, so named because Abraham is described in the Qur'an as the first Muslim. Bizarrely, that is enough to make it a "Muslim" site.

The Tomb of Rachel, situated toward the northern entrance to Bethlehem, is regarded as the resting place of the matriarch Rachel, the wife of Jacob and mother of Joseph and Benjamin. Considered the third holiest Jewish site and a place of pilgrimage for Jews since ancient times, it has been holy to both Jews and Christians for centuries. Since the tomb fell under Muslim hands in the seventh century, it has also been a place venerated by Muslims, because Jacob and Joseph are Qur'anic figures, although Rachel herself is not mentioned by name in the book.

Muslim authorities and leaders such as the head of the radical Northern Islamic Movement, Shaykh Raed Salah, do not want a little here and a little there. They want all of Jerusalem to be enshrined internationally as an entirely Muslim city and, as happened when Jordan occupied the city, to expel the Jews and destroy all the synagogues there.

The attempts to deny any ancient and ongoing Jewish presence in Jerusalem, to say there was never a first let alone a second Temple and that only Muslims have any right to the whole city, its shrines and historical monuments, have reached insane proportions. The most extreme expressions of this gamut of ahistorical claims, supremacist assertions and conspiracies are the many speeches and comments of the above-mentioned Shaykh Raed Salah. Here is part of a speech he made at a rally in 1999:
"We will say openly to the Jewish society, you do not have a right even to one stone of the blessed Al-Aksa Mosque. You do not have a right even to one tiny particle of the blessed Al-Aksa Mosque. Therefore we will say openly, the western wall of blessed Al-Aksa is part of blessed Al-Aksa. It can never be a small Western Wall. It can never be a large Western Wall... We will say openly to the political and religious leadership in Israel: the demand to keep blessed Al-Aksa under Israeli sovereignty is also a declaration of war on the Islamic world."
Salah is far from alone. The current head of the Supreme Muslim Council, Ekrima Sabri, has for many years done his best to invalidate Jewish claims to the area. He claims that Solomon's Temple is an "unproven allegation" -- something that the Jews dreamed up out of "hatred and envy." He claims the Western Wall, too, is "a Muslim religious property" to which Jews "have no relation."

In a recent statement, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas said that, "The Al-Aqsa [Mosque] is ours... and they [the Jews] have no right to defile it with their filthy feet."
According to UN Watch,
"Ambassador Shama Hohen [Carmel Shama Hacohen, Israeli ambassador to UNESCO] asked Palestinian delegate Mounir Anastas why Palestinians are not prepared to recognize the Jewish right to the Temple Mount and include the term 'Temple Mount' in the resolution, alongside the Arab term, Haram al-Sharif. Anastas replied... that if the Palestinians were to recognize the Temple Mount, then Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Jordan's King Abdullah would become number one targets of ISIS."
Is this really what it boils down to? The Islamic State rules the international community? Including UNESCO?

On April 15 this year, the Executive Board of UNESCO's Programme and External Relations Commission convened for its 199th session. The earlier Temple Mount resolution was moved by Algeria, Egypt, Lebanon, Morocco, Oman, Qatar and Sudan -- all members of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation. That vote then passed to the 21 members of the World Heritage Committee during its 40th session in Istanbul, which had been scheduled to run from July 10 to July 20.

By mere chance, July's military coup attempt in Turkey disrupted the event, and the vote has now been scheduled for an autumn meeting. That may be based on a draft resolution created by the European Union, which is, in fact, just another denial of the historical Jewish connection to the Temple Mount. But, considering the one-sidedness of this resolution, just where is UNESCO's above-stated commitment to bring about "a dialogue between all stakeholders"?

Turning the Temple Mount, the Western Wall, Rachel's Tomb, the Cave of the Patriarchs, and other sites into exclusively Muslim holy places is directly linked to the growth of Islamisation in the modern era. By destroying churches, shrines, tombs, whole sites of antiquity deemed idolatrous, and even mosques deemed heretical, the Islamic State seeks to wipe out all traces of what is termed the era of Jahiliyya, the "Age of Ignorance" that held the world in its grip before the advent of Islam.

The world is outraged when it sees the stones of Palmyra tumble, or other great monuments of human civilization turn to dust. But that same world is silent when the Palestinian Arabs and their supporters Islamise everything by calling into question the very presence of the Jewish people in the Holy Land.
Denis MacEoin PhD has studied and taught Islam at several universities and is currently working on a book dealing with concerns about the religion. He is a Distinguished Senior Fellow at the Gatestone Institute.

[1] Modern archaeological research shows that there was indeed an original temple or, rather, large Hindu complex there.
[2] See "Attack[s] on Hindus post Babri demolition," ShankhNaad, 13 April, 2015.
[3] For full details, see ibid.
[4] Sayyid Qutb, Milestones, New Delhi, 2002, p. 51.
[5] See, for example, Amikam Nachmani, Europe and Its Muslim Minorities: Aspects of Conflict, Attempts at Accord, Sussex Academic Press, 2010, p. 106.
[6] A European concept, opposed to the imperial project of the all-embracing Islamic umma.
[7] See Qur'an 2: 143-46.

Denis MacEoin, PhD has studied and taught Islam at several universities and is currently working on a book dealing with concerns about the religion. He is a Distinguished Senior Fellow at the Gatestone Institute.


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The Three Most Important Issues For 2016: Immigration, Immigration, Immigration - Michael Cutler

by Michael Cutler

America's most underrated -- and consequential -- challenge.

In real estate it is said that the three most important factors to consider are “location, location, location.”

When considering the candidates Americans should vote for in the upcoming elections, the key issue is simply immigration or, as I wrote in a recent article, It’s the Immigration Problem, Stupid: Secure borders are synonymous with safety and that's what Americans want in 2016.

Elected officials and government employees, especially those in law enforcement and intelligence, hold positions of trust. They take an oath, upon entering on duty, in which they swear (affirm) to uphold the Constitution and our laws and protect our nation from all enemies.

There is no ambiguity where the purpose of that oath is concerned.

The preface of the official government report, “9/11 and Terrorist Travel: Staff Report of the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States” begins with the following paragraph: 
It is perhaps obvious to state that terrorists cannot plan and carry out attacks in the United States if they are unable to enter the country. Yet prior to September 11, while there were efforts to enhance border security, no agency of the U.S. government thought of border security as a tool in the counterterrorism arsenal. Indeed, even after 19 hijackers demonstrated the relative ease of obtaining a U.S. visa and gaining admission into the United States, border security still is not considered a cornerstone of national security policy. We believe, for reasons we discuss in the following pages, that it must be made one.
The 9/11 Commission identified failures of the immigration system as vulnerabilities that the terrorists exploited to enter the United States and embed themselves as they went about their deadly preparations. The Commission made it clear that this was not unique to the 9/11 hijackers but to other terrorists they investigated who entered the United States in the decade before the attacks of 9/11.

The Commission also noted that terrorists gamed the visa process and obtained lawful immigration status by committing fraud. They obtained local, state and federal identity documents, including driver's licenses, through fraud and by purchasing altered and counterfeit identity documents.

Yet “Sanctuary Cities” shield illegal aliens from detection, thus encouraging aliens to enter our country illegally. I addressed this lunacy in my articles, “Sanctuary Cities Endanger - National Security and Public Safety” and “Terrorism, Enclaves and Sanctuary Cities: How sanctuary cities facilitate the growth of terror enclaves in America.”

It is clear that America's borders are its first line of defense and last line of defense. There was a good reason that the enforcement and administration of America's immigration laws was vested in the Department of Homeland Security.

Yet the administration and many politicians blithely ignore the inherent risk that non-secured borders and the presence of unknown millions of aliens who have evaded the inspections process represent to national security and the safety of our citizens.

In point of fact, many politicians, including Hillary Clinton, have advocated for providing lawful status and a pathway to citizenship to millions – likely tens of millions of illegal aliens. In this scenario, there would be no way to conduct in-person interviews let alone field investigations of aliens who entered the United States without inspection

Ms. Clinton would also greatly increase the number of Syrian refugees admitted into the United States even thought there is no way to vet them. She has been extremely critical of the Obama administration's supposed aggressive enforcement of our immigration laws.

In reality Obama has failed to enforce the immigration laws both along our borders and from within the interior of the United States.

Indeed, the administration has released tens of thousands of criminal aliens who, upon release, committed still more homicides and assaults.

Clinton's Vice-Presidential nominee, Tim Kaine, has echoed her sentiments about immigration and even addressed the Democratic Convention in both English and Spanish and also amplified Hillary's promise (threat?) to provide all of the illegal aliens present in the United States with United States citizenship.

Our legal immigration system admits roughly one million lawful immigrants annually. Legalizing illegal aliens makes a mockery of the legal immigration process.

I fully support the notion of people learning multiple languages. As a native New Yorker, I love the diversity of the cultures to be found in my hometown.

My mother came to the United States as a fourteen-year-old girl who had to leave her mother behind in Poland prior to World War II and the Holocaust that saw the slaughter of upwards of 17 million people, 6 million of whom were Jews.

My mother's mother, for whom I was named, was one of those killed. My mother came to America fluent in Yiddish and Polish, but did not speak a word of English. Her first task, upon securing a room in a rooming house and a job at an umbrella factory, was to learn to speak English.

My dad was born in Brooklyn, but his family came to America from Bessarabia located in Russia/Romania.

His family came to America speaking Russian and Yiddish, but quickly learned to speak English.

My parents used Yiddish as a “secret language” when they did not want me to know what they were discussing, providing me with a very strong incentive to learn Yiddish.

When I attended Border Patrol Academy, at the beginning of my career with the INS, I was required to develop Spanish-language proficiency.

However, a common language is the mortar that holds a society together. Our nation has turned itself into a bilingual country without the consent of the citizens of the United States. This has been done by our politicians who were pandering to ethnic voters and to the businesses that want to market their goods and services to as many people as possible.

In many states drivers may take motor vehicle tests in a wide variety of languages even though road signs are only posted in the English language. Globally, English is the language of aviation. Yet in states such as New York, drivers who cannot read the road signs share the roads with pedestrians and other drivers. You have to wonder how many people have been injured or killed because many drivers cannot read the road signs. Yet this irrational and dangerous practice continues.

This probably makes the auto repair shop owners, trial lawyers and funeral home directors happy, however.

Politicians, pollsters and pundits have divided America into a Balkanized country where ostensible “Latino voters” have different goals and dreams from other Americans. This is a dangerous, divisive and disgusting course of action.

All citizens of the United States have essentially the same goals -- to live in a secure country where our enemies are held at bay overseas by our military; where police keep our towns and cities as free from crime as possible and where the “American Dream” provides opportunities for Americans willing to acquire a good education and work hard to achieve success.

Effective immigration law enforcement is critical to achieving those goals.

Incredibly, the open-borders anarchists have created the deception that anyone who wants our borders secured and our immigration laws enforced is a racist.

As I have repeatedly written, our immigration laws have absolutely nothing to do with race, religion or ethnicity. Those laws were enacted to prevent the entry and continued presence of aliens in the United States who would pose a threat to national security or the safety, well-being, lives and livelihoods of Americans. Period.

Indeed, immigrants living in the various ethnic communities around the United States, who come from all around the world, are often the most likely victims of transnational criminals. It is not likely that victims of crime take solace in the knowledge that they or their loved ones have been victimized by thugs who share their ethnicity.

When politicians push for a massive amnesty program they are advocating for dumping millions, if not tens of millions, of newly authorized foreign workers, into a labor pool of desperate American workers who cannot find decent jobs.

My article “Hillary Clinton’s Immigration Goals Make Her Economic Promises Impossible to Achieve” focused on her game of “bait and switch” promising “wage equality” and a minimum hourly wage of $10.10. At the same time, her Clinton Foundation had partnered with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Gates has pumped well over one billion dollars into pushing for an endless supply of H-1B visas to destroy the wage structure of high-tech workers in America.

On August 14, 2016 CBS News, New York reported, “Carpenters Persevere In Camping Out For Union Training, Better Life.” The report noted that for several days hundreds of people had camped out on the sidewalk hoping to become apprentice carpenters and beating out the competition, even though the temperature had soared to nearly 100 degrees. There is no shortage of American workers, but there most certainly is a shortage of jobs. There is no job an American won't do for a living wage.

The shortage of a lack of jobs would not be solved by adding more workers. This wrong-headed notion, that admitting many more foreign workers would somehow enable unemployed Americans to find jobs, makes as much sense as claiming the best way to deal with a hole in the bottom of your rowboat is to drill more holes, hoping that magically the water will leave through those additional holes.

Any politician who refuses to secure our nation’s borders and effectively enforce our immigration laws would be defying his/her oath of office and breaking promises about helping struggling American families or protecting America from the threats posed by international terrorists.

Michael Cutler is a retired Senior Special Agent of the former INS (Immigration and Naturalization Service) whose career spanned some 30 years. He served as an Immigration Inspector, Immigration Adjudications Officer and spent 26 years as an agent who rotated through all of the squads within the Investigations Branch. For half of his career he was assigned to the Drug Task Force. He has testified before well over a dozen congressional hearings, provided testimony to the 9/11 Commission as well as state legislative hearings around the United States and at trials where immigration is at issue. He hosts his radio show, “The Michael Cutler Hour,” on Friday evenings on BlogTalk Radio. His personal website is


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What Outcome do we Seek in Syria? - Shoshana Bryen

by Shoshana Bryen

Whether temporary or serving longer term Russian interests, the increasing breadth and capability of the Russian military in the region -- allied with the State Department’s number one designated state sponsor of terror -- presents problems for the United States.

Russian warplanes took off this week from Iran to hit targets in Syria. Russia has used Iranian bases for refueling and resupply in the past, but this is its first bombing mission from the Islamic Republic -- it is also the first foreign military operation to take place from Iranian soil since the 1979 revolution. Iran’s National Security chief said Iran and Russia “enjoy strategic cooperation in the fight against terrorism in Syria, and share their facilities and capacities to this end.”

Whether temporary or serving longer term Russian interests, the increasing breadth and capability of the Russian military in the region -- allied with the State Department’s number one designated state sponsor of terror -- presents problems for the United States. The Obama administration, however, appears oddly unconcerned. 
  • A State Department spokesperson said, “We have nothing to announce at this time. We speak regularly with Russian officials about ways to strengthen the Cessation of Hostilities, improve humanitarian access and bring about the conditions necessary to find a political solution to this conflict.”
  • Another spokesperson called it, “unfortunate, but not surprising or unexpected.”
  • From the Pentagon, “As we understand it, they hit three areas in Syria. One area had ISIS fighters in it, and we have hit there ourselves before. The other two areas do not have ISIS concentrations.”
The area that did not have ISIS fighters had anti-Assad rebels. Does the State Department think Russian bombing will help “find a political solution to the conflict”? What does the U.S. think a “political solution” should look like?

There is no easy side for America to take -- if we take any. On one side is a war criminal, whose allies are Russia, Iran, and Hizb’allah (a U.S.-designated terrorist organization). On the other is the “opposition,” a collection of fighters including Jabhat al-Nusra -- until last week calling itself an arm of al Qaeda -- the Free Syrian Army, ISIS-affiliated rebels, and groups with acronyms previously unknown. Some will fight ISIS. Some are ISIS. Some will fight only Assad. Just about all are Sunni Islamists supported financially by America’s erstwhile allies in the Gulf plus Turkey. Among the Kurdish groups, some are Assad’s allies; some are America’s allies. All are the enemy of Turkey, a NATO member. 

Our allies have their own agendas, as do our adversaries.

The Iran-Russia axis anchors the ends of the Shiite Crescent from Iran across Iraq, Syria, and Lebanon, ending in the Mediterranean. The Crescent is an Iranian goal that threatens a variety of countries on its periphery, including Israel and Turkey. Russia’s goals include 1) maintaining a friendly government in Damascus that will permit Russian bases at Tartus and Latakia, 2) broader military access to the region, and 3) status as “go to” power as the United States withdraws its influence. Partnership in the Shiite Crescent ensures all three. 

Washington has been trying to find a way to cooperate with Russia in Syria without acknowledging that Russia’s goals, and Iran’s, are inimical to the president’s insistence that Assad has to go. The Washington Post reminded its readers this week of Mr. Obama’s words in 2012. “With allies and partners, we will keep increasing the pressure, with a diplomatic effort to further isolate Assad and his regime, so that those who stick with Assad know that they are making a losing bet.”

Has the president changed his mind? Does he now believe the Russians and Iranians together can impose some sort of brutal stability on the region, and their dominance would be in our interest? 

The longer the fighting goes on, the more casualties there will be -- including civilian casualties. In a country where an estimated 470,000 people have already been killed, the numbers are horrific. The United Nations believes 1 in 10 Syrians have been killed or wounded since 2012; the American equivalent would be 32,400,000 people.

In 2014, President Obama snippily informed Israel that it must “do more to protect Gaza civilians,” while Hamas was using those civilians as shields for its fighters, weapons, and rocket launchers. But Syrians are dying at a horrific rate and by horrific means -- chemical weapons, barrel bombs, starvation and more -- while the United States tries to coordinate with Russia and Russia coordinates with Iran.

This is neither a call for the U.S. to send more troops to Syria nor support for any particular faction. But with more than 7,000 American troops already fighting there and in Iraq, it is past time for the United States to decide how to block Russian and Iranian neo-imperialism and secure the interests of our regional allies and ourselves.”

Shoshana Bryen


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Between the Dome of the Rock and a hard place - Nadav Shragai

by Nadav Shragai

King Abdullah of Jordan's statements about "Israeli aggression" on the Temple Mount underscore the fine line Israel has to walk to protect the rights of Jews at Judaism's holiest site while preserving and improving strategic relations with Jordan.

The complicated situation on the Temple Mount: The father of murdered teen Hallel Yaffa Ariel visits the Temple Mount in July
Photo credit: AP

Nadav Shragai


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Calling out the conspiracy theories - Judith Bergman

by Judith Bergman

As recently as this summer, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas received a standing ovation after presenting one such blood ‎libel story to the European Parliament.

Conspiracy theories flourish and spread, aided by the ubiquitous internet, on both the left and right ends of the political spectrum. The term "conspiracy theory" appears to have become especially ‎popular and mainstream since the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001 -- which generated an astounding number of conspiracy theorists. In fact, the term has become so popular that these days it is frequently used in politics, particularly in the context of the current U.S. presidential race, as a means of fending off criticism. 

This method is particularly efficient because accusing someone of making up conspiracy theories has the same effect as calling someone a ‎racist: It immediately reduces the other person to one who is not worth debating or ‎listening to -- someone beyond the pale, so to speak.‎

Jews have historically featured in an astonishing number of conspiracy theories, ‎including downright blood libels. As recently as this summer, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas received a standing ovation after presenting one such blood ‎libel story to the European Parliament. A longer-lived ‎conspiracy theory, which continues to enjoy immense popularity, is the Protocols of the ‎Elders of Zion, which claims that the Jews plotted world domination. The story of the protocols has enjoyed incredible approval in both the West and the Arab world ever since it was first invented in ‎czarist Russia in 1903. Henry Ford helped spread it by funding the printing of half a million ‎copies, which were distributed in the United States in the 1920s. Adolf Hitler, of course, was ‎one of the theory's greatest devotees and made it a focal part of his unspeakable crimes against ‎the Jews. ‎

These facts, however, do not stop completely ordinary people today from entertaining ideas that ‎are eerily similar to those promulgated in the Protocols of the Elders of Zion. The only difference ‎is semantic, namely that the word "Jews" has now been replaced with the word "Israel." ‎

Some of the most stubborn and popular conspiracy theories in the world today are those that ‎center on Israel and its actions. However, these conspiracy theories are rarely called out as such. ‎Instead, we speak in terms of anti-Semitism, lies and Israel-bashing. All those terms are valid and ‎appropriate, but arguably, they have lost much of their ability to ‎impact a public that has grown so used to hearing them that they evoke few, if any, reactions. ‎

Furthermore, speaking in the "old" terms of anti-Semitism and Israel-bashing almost ‎automatically comes with the habitual mistake of Israel advocacy, namely that it is almost always ‎defensive, reactive, and too polite to make any kind of lasting difference, especially since ‎Israel's opponents in this war of words are themselves extremely aggressive, offensive and with ‎no limits as to how low they will go. While Israel advocates should not stoop to the bottomless ‎pits of their opponents, it makes no sense to always be on the defensive and acting like the ‎teacher's pet, bending over backward in an attempt not to offend anyone. It is an information war, and one should fight without both hands being tied behind one's back.‎

This, then, means that one should not be afraid to use language that places the burden of proof on the opponent. Israel's advocates, whether in Israel or abroad, should not even have ‎defended themselves against one of the most widespread conspiracy theories -- that ‎Israel is sinisterly practicing apartheid against Arabs. This theory is so outlandish, so asinine and ‎obviously fabricated, as anyone who knows even a little about Israel or has been here can clearly ‎see, that it should not be entertained at all. Because by even engaging in the slightest with this ‎outrageous accusation it becomes elevated to the status of a legitimate ‎topic of civil discussion. 

Nevertheless, it has been given ample and prominent attention in international public debate. If, at the outset, this theory had been correctly termed a conspiracy theory propagated by ‎raving lunatics who clearly have no clue about the true nature of the situation in Israel, it would ‎not be Israel sitting in the dock defending itself against the lunacy. Instead, it would be those ‎propagating the craziness, as proponents of a mad conspiracy theory, who would be under ‎pressure to explain the factual merits of their theory. 

The importance of how we frame an argument cannot be underestimated. By defending oneself against outlandish accusations that amount to nothing but conspiracy ‎theories, one gives them credence just by acknowledging their existence, and in this way, one unwittingly contributes to their spread. 

Words matter immensely, and how we term something has an impact on how it is perceived. It is therefore imperative to recognize when an attack against Israel constitutes a ‎conspiracy theory, and to call it out as such. Few people wish to be seen as the purveyors of ‎conspiracy theories, as this immediately reduces them to being seen as lunatics who cannot be taken seriously. Not only that, but it also forces them to go on the defensive and explain what makes ‎their insane accusations true.

Judith Bergman


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Migrant Problems Still Threaten Europe - George Igler

by George Igler

Profits in the people-smuggling business often flow to terrorist-backed gangs operating in Italy. The numbers drowning in the Mediterranean continue to mount.

  • In September 2015, a Canadian broadcaster, Ezra Levant, suggested that what Europe was experiencing, was not primarily an influx of "refugees" fleeing conflict, but rather a new Gold Rush, in which young men from the Muslim world were seeking to improve their fortune at Europe's expense.
  • Rome-based journalist Barbie Latza Nadeu seriously asked whether Italy was "enabling the ISIS invasion of Europe."

Chaotic scenes have erupted on the coastal Mediterranean frontier between Italy and France. On August 4, for instance, hundreds of migrants, chiefly from Eritrea, Ethiopia and the Sudan sought to storm the crossing in their attempts to make it to Northern Europe.

"Both the Italian and French forces at the border were taken by surprise," remarked Giorgio Marenco, a police commander in Ventimiglia, where tear gas was used to disperse the migrants. Others merely braved the choppy waters of the sea to breach the crossing by swimming towards their goal.

The Italian town contains the last train station in Italy near the border. The besieged terminus lies three miles from the French Riviera. It has been a gathering point for the predominantly Muslim migrants since June 2015. A fractious tent city for migrants has sprung up, mirroring others spread across Italy. The capital of the French holiday district is Nice, which experienced a jihadist massacre on July 14.

Although mercifully free from mass terrorist outrages this year, Italy has already endured several alarming scenes of disorder and protest resulting from the pressure of accepting increasing illegal migrants.

On May 7, violent attempts by "open borders" activists took place, aimed at forcing open the frontier between Italy and Austria. On May 21, various groups in Rome organized mass demonstrations against Italy's "invasion" by migrants. Apparently the prevalence of populist politics in the country has created movements which do not lie within the usual "Left-Right" political spectrum in which analysts usually classify parties.

The chief example is the presence in Italy of the Five Star Movement, founded in 2009 by the comedian Beppo Grillo, and now considered Italy's second largest political force. Having taken a back seat after frequently being condemned for his "Islamophobic" anti-mass immigration rhetoric, Grillo's party nevertheless helped to elect Virginia Raggi, in July, as the new mayor of Rome.

Despite the assurances of Angelino Alfano, the Italian Interior Minister, that Ventimiglia would not turn into "our Calais" -- a reference to migrants amassed at the French channel port who are seeking illegal entry into the United Kingdom -- the challenges faced by Italy lie not merely in numbers.

African migrants camp out on the beach in the northern Italian town of Ventimiglia, along the French border, as they wait for the opportunity to cross into France, in 2015. (Image source: AFP video screenshot)

Italy's terror alert status remains at "Level Two" -- the second highest in its security index. On March 30, the Rome-based journalist, Barbie Latza Nadeu, seriously asked whether the country was "enabling the ISIS invasion of Europe."

After the collapse of Libya -- occasioned in 2011 by military intervention masterminded by then French President Nicolas Sarkozy and then UK Prime Minister David Cameron -- the North African nation has become the gathering point for those on the continent farther south, who possess the will or resources to push into Europe.

Two separate governments are currently attempting to wrest control from each other in Libya, a former colony of Italy, while ISIS forces also maintain their foothold. It is through this seemingly unresolvable ongoing chaos that people-smugglers ply their lucrative trade.

Waves of migrants heading into Europe, primarily through a corridor beginning in Turkey and resulting in short crossings to nearby Greek islands, are still stranded in the so-called Western Balkan route into the continent.

After the widely derided imposition by the Prime Minister of Hungary of a razor-wire border fence on his country's southern frontier, other nations nearby, that were subjected to migrant pressure, soon followed suit.

Remaining conscious of Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán's analysis, that only half a year's total migrants come to Europe between January and October, with the other half arriving through the remainder of the year, the steady focus in 2016 is likely to be on Europe's "soft underbelly" -- a term Winston Churchill used during the Second World War to refer to the susceptibility of Italy being invaded by sea -- as opposed the susceptibility of the Balkans.

The enthusiasm of the present government of Chancellor Angela Merkel to import Muslims into Germany apparently remains undiminished. As reported by Markus Mahler, a succession of migrant flights into Germany from Turkey are now taking place – in one instance, more than 11 planes landed during the same night at Cologne-Bonn airport – as some analysts predicted last year.

In September 2015, a Canadian lawyer and broadcaster, Ezra Levant, suggested that what Europe was experiencing, was not primarily an influx of "refugees" fleeing conflict, but rather a new Gold Rush, in which young men from the Muslim world were seeking to improve their fortune at Europe's expense.

Sea crossings from Africa into Italy, which initially targeted the small Italian island of Lampedusa, had begun in 1996. Since then, they have magnified in number year on year, considerably aided between 2013-2014 by the Mare Nostrum program of the Italian navy, which picked up stranded vessels and brought their occupants to Italy, rather than returning migrants to their countries of origin. This program was then superseded by Operation Triton, run by the European Union's border agency, Frontex.

It is often simpler for migrant ships to send a distress signal while near Italian coastal waters, as happened in January 2015 with the ship Ezadeen, abandoned by its crew of smugglers, after they set the ship on autopilot pointed towards Italy's southern shore. The ship's 450 migrant passengers were towed to harbor by a Frontex ship from Iceland.

Profits in the people-smuggling business often flow to terrorist-backed gangs operating in Italy. The numbers drowning in the Mediterranean continue to mount.

Successful migrants from Africa usually then traverse Italy, but can remain stranded if their attempts to penetrate further into Europe become frustrated. That situation frequently leads to violence at migrant camps and outrage at local government level as the migrants are then distributed across the country.

Despite the swelling number of illegal sea crossings, there seems little interest in curtailing them by force, given the existence of international refugee conventions and European legislation on human rights, which some migrants appear to be exploiting.

During four days in July alone, 10,000 illegally crossed by sea into Italy. As in 2015, the vast majority looking for "asylum seeker" status in Europe are military-aged Muslim males seeking eventual European citizenship.

Meanwhile, relations between Italians and their existing established Muslim communities seem to be rapidly eroding. The introduction of gay marriage into Italy on June 5, against fierce opposition in the home of the Roman Catholic Church, has had unforeseen consequences.

As a reciprocal gesture in the spirit of "civil rights," Hamza Piccardo, the founder of the Union of Islamic Communities and Organizations in Italy, has demanded the legalization of polygamy.

As the pressures grow on the Euro, the currency which binds 19 European nations together both politically and economically, the long-term future of Italy's banking system has already been called into question.

The picture drawn by the present migration into Europe may fundamentally undermine the "Refugees Welcome" narrative that dominated news reports last year, but the continent-wide economic ramifications of its effects on a country such as Italy, already subject to considerable political tumult, should not be underestimated.

George Igler, between 2010 and 2016, worked helping persons across Europe who were facing death for criticizing Islam.


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